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February 28, 2004

As I wrote before, I recently read Brown's The Da Vinci Code. It's a fascinating book, if only for the astounding amount of information it contains about secret societies, religious history, and Leonardo Da Vinci. One of the things I learned about from the book, and have since been reading about on the web, is of Phi. Basically, Phi is a number (1.618033988749895) that shows up in a remarkable amount of places througout the universe -- in the proportions of the human body, in the petals of many flowers, in the human DNA spiral, in the spiral of seashells, etc. -- which many people believe to be a sign of some sort of divine creation. I will admit that after reading about the extent of its existence in the natural world, it made me question something... I'm not sure what. It is too prevalent to be coincidence, is all I know, so what does that leave us with? If the universe was divinely created, why would that creator involve a seemingly random number in so many aspects of His creation?

I just want answers to all these questions, but perhaps faith is realizing that there are questions that don't need answers, or that the answers will come when you stop asking.

February 24, 2004

When I think about how Constantine ostensibly edited the New Testiment -- choosing what would be included and what would not be included, based on what he wanted people to believe and not believe about Christ -- it gives me pause. I'm admittedly ignorant of the concrete facts about how Constantine went about changing his people from a Sun-worshipping people to Christians, but what little I understand sticks in my head as a big lump of doubt. If there are versions of the Christ story that were edited for content, it makes me wonder what the Bible doesn't tell us, as opposed to what it does.

But back to the science vs. religion question, which I think is an essential one. While I realize that scientific belief is ever changing, and that the nature of religion has changed comparatively little, I have to accept certain scientific beliefs as fact -- the universe is billions of years old, man evolved from lesser beings, etc. I also know that there are many very intelligent and well-read people who believe in the truth of the Bible over whatever overwhelming "facts" that might indicate otherwise. I don't understand this, and I'm very interested to understand how people reconcile this contradiction. I don't think I could ever forego my belief in evolution, in the age of the universe, etc., for what the Bible says about these things.

Am I being spiritually naive?

I suppose what it really comes down to is the selective nature of Christian belief, which I find wholly confusing and very difficult to get around. I wish Christians could just get together and decide, as a group, what was real.

Yes, I suppose I am being spiritually naive.

February 23, 2004

Lately, I feel different somehow. I've spent much of the past two weeks thinking about spirituality, and it's almost as if there's been an imperceptable click, freeing my head somewhat of worldly concerns. I wish could describe it, but the essence of it is this unfamiliar sense of positivity that I've never known so well. I wish I could put it into words, but it's there. It's as hard to ignore now as it was to initially recognize.

I still don't consider myself a Christian, though, and I'm not sure if that's even the goal. I'm not trying to "become a Christian", I'm trying to find spirituality -- a greater meaning to this seemingly random existence -- in whatever way I am able to grasp. If it turns out that Christianity becomes the path, so be it. The contradictory nature of modern Christianity is hard to avoid when one is sincerly looking to find God, and it's become a roadblock, of sorts.

How does one sincerely and logically reconcile modern science with Christian belief?

February 16, 2004

I am reading this book The Alchemist, and it's changing me -- affecting me in a way that few books have been able to do. I've been reading quite a bit lately, and the books I've been drawn to have been those of a spiritual nature, in one sense or another. This book, though... in the mere eighty pages I've plowed through while sitting on my bungalow on the bay, have filled me with so many contemplations.

And as with most of the past few books I've read, this one has come from a seemingly random recommendation from a in Irish Yoga instructor I met on the boat over here. It's amazing how following literary recommendations, amongst all other choices, seems to be the best path.

I so want to let go of everything I know, the preconceived mishmash that we approach everything in life with, and see the world without filter. This cynicism that seems to be an incessant part of my existence is something I struggle to rid myself of, only holding me back from the true nature of life -- of love, of spirituality, of true and unfiltered experience. I am a slave to my negativity, I have come to realize, and this bondage is only going to shield me from the true experience of this extrordinary life.

Is it the nature of God to provide hope? Could it be that simple?

As I read this book, I couldn't help but think that my connection with it is indicicitive of a larger connection that seems to be finding me. It's warming my soul, as is this remote magical place, and I'm tempted to spend the rest of the night reading the rest of it, but am afraid for the experience to end far too quickly.

My point being -- read the book, whether you're on a remote island in Thailand or in a sterile office in America. It's simple and profound and magical, and will open something up within you that was henceforth securely sealed up in a box locked by fear, stasis, and negativity.

February 14, 2004

I'm now in a country that's 95% Buddhist, which is really a beautiful religion in many ways. I visited a Buddist temple a few days ago, took my shoes off and knelt down in front of the statue of Buddha. Sat there and watched all these Thais bowing down and meditating in front of this statue. Gave me subtle chills, although not as much as my trip to the Western Wall.

I have been reading The Da Vinci Code, and although it's essentially pop fiction, the religious history that it contains is really interesting. It talks about a theory that Jesus and Mary Magdelene were actually married and had a child together, and that Emporer Constantine essentially rejected books that referred to it when he compiled the New Testament. It's a good read -- it made me think and it kept me turning pages.

I feel God responding to some of my recent prayers, although I still remain skeptical as to whether it was just mere coincidence. I've been looking for God in so many places lately, but I still find myself unable to really see him through all the contradictory haze.

The comments that people have left on this site are really amazing -- both in extent and content. I read them all, and if you're reading this site I advise you to do the same.

February 06, 2004

I talked to a guy about Christianity last night. He believes that the Universe is only about 10,000 years old, because this is what the Bible indicates. I asked him how he explains light from distant stars, and he said "I don't know." When asked about carbon dating, he responded that he believes that it is only accurate up to about 10,000 years or so. He said something about how it doesn't matter to him what science discovers, as he knows that the Bible is the only true source. This attitude troubles me, as it indicates a close-mindedness to anything that could possibly contradict what the Bible says. Whether you're a Christian or not, shouldn't you be open to the possibility that your belief system might be incorrect in some ways? To completely disregard scientific discovery in light of religion is just as ignorant as completely disregarding religion in light of science.

Beyond that, I keep coming back to how difficult it is to swim through the many different types of Christian beliefs. How does one account for this? Do all these Christians get into heaven, or is there only one correct way? It seems to me that anyone who sincerely believes in God/Jesus Christ -- whether Unitarian, Catholic, Baptist, Christian Scientist, etc. -- gets into heaven (if such a thing/place exists (I'm still looking, remember)). I find it hard to believe that a Christian could die and be rejected from heaven because his/her beliefs were a bit off par.

February 05, 2004

Turns out it doesn't matter whether I find God or not, she still can't be with me. She feels like God is protecting her from being with me, while I feel like God is pointing me to her. Maybe this is all part of some strange plan of His, but I fail to understand it. Is one of us misunderstanding God? I'm willing to accept the notion that I may be mistaking my love of her for God's plan, but if this is the case then I have no idea how to differentiate one from the other. Maybe I'm going about this God thing all wrong, maybe He can see right through me, maybe He's still not really with me.

So now I can't talk to her. I can only think of her, and I probably shouldn't even be doing that. My life is so intricately tied to hers now, it could take days and months and years to untie all these knots. I still hope that I don't have to, and I'll continue to procrastinate for as long as I am able.

I ask God why he's doing this to me, why he's putting me through this, but I don't hear anything... the sound of my breathing, the refridgerator turning on. I ask Him why He's protecting her from me, why He won't let her see the future that I see, why He has shown me this love only to take it away from me... the sound of a car horn in the distance, a man coughing.

I just don't understand.

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